During the month of July, Drs. Stan Moore and Jim Spivey revisited Carroll Teaching Churches in Viet Nam and China to teach courses and encourage the students. Dr. Stan Moore taught Christian Disciplines, one of the core courses in the Viet Nam program. He stated:
It was my joy to visit Viet Nam in the third week of July. This was my second time to be in Hanoi, a bustling city of over 8 million inhabitants and at least 5 million motorcycles!
We are blessed to be in a partnership with FBC Midland, which provides scholarships for students to attend classes leading to a Master of Arts in Religion degree.
Dr. Moore taught 13 students face-to-face at the Hanoi Bible College, and at the same time, the lectures and interactions were sent through Internet videoconferencing to four other locations in Viet Nam. See the picture of the group in Hanoi.
Stan Moore continues,
What a privilege to teach but also learn from the students through a gifted translator! God is working in and transforming so many lives in Viet Nam. Students in the program are serving as pastors and leaders of local congregations. Graduate theological education is not available in Viet Nam. We are grateful to the Lord that He has opened the door for Carroll to equip missional leaders in Viet Nam!
While attending a Global Consultation on Music and Missions (GCoMM) event in Thailand, Dr. Moore also taught Christian Disciplines by video to students in China.
Dr. Jim Spivey taught Apologetics in one of the Teaching Churches in China and gave the following report:
In 2013, twenty-five students started coursework with Carroll Institute in China. Since then Carroll has partnered with Thanksgiving Church and local Christian leaders in Chengdu to conduct classes on site three times a year. We are greatly encouraged by our students’ enthusiasm and commitment to take what they learn to their churches and train other ministers who are not able to attend these courses.
Most of Carroll’s students have completed half of their MA in Religion degrees and are eagerly anticipating graduation in 2017. A few of them will finish their MA in Theology degrees earlier in 2016, and some of them plan to pursue a PhD degree at Carroll.
Dr. Spivey described Carroll’s vision in training leaders in China:
Our vision is three-fold: to educate Chinese ministers, to train leaders in their churches, and to provide Chinese doctoral graduates who will deliver seminary-level education to their own people for generations to come. Our effort in China, as in Russia, Cuba, and Vietnam, is a vital part of Carroll’s commitment to equip men and women called to serve Christ in the diverse and global ministries of His church.
One of the partners with Carroll in China expressed appreciation for Carroll’s support of the theological preparation of Chinese Christian leaders.
We are so thankful for Carroll and the excellence delivered to servants here in China. As you are aware, people are responding to the Gospel in staggering numbers. Pastors and lay leaders are overjoyed and overwhelmed with the tasks of discipleship, nurture, and evangelism. These leaders are grateful for opportunities that Carroll is providing for theological training otherwise inaccessible to them. May God continue to bless B.H. Carroll and its vision for training church leaders around the world! May we all remain faithful to the blessings entrusted to us!
Please continue on to read testimonies from Chinese and Vietnamese students about how Carroll Institute has impacted their lives. Their testimonies will impact your lives as well.
Learn more about how you or your church could scholarship a student in Viet Nam, China, or in one of our other global programs or you may call The Carroll Center at 972-580-7600.
Translated Testimonies from Chinese and Vietnamese Students in the Carroll Program
(Names withheld for security reasons)
Testimony of Chinese Student:
At the end of our Apologetics course, Dr. Spivey unexpectedly shed tears. It was an emotional moment for all of us. This came about when a student asked the question, “In apologetics there are many rational things such as philosophy, science, biology and others, and most of us are weak in these areas. How can we prepare and strengthen ourselves?” When Dr. Spivey answered this question, his basic meaning was that each of us are where we are. We do not need to feel pressured or painstakingly study those areas. Dr. Spivey paused and then teared up, “In fact, each of you here today in having faith, have crossed more barriers and overcome more difficulties than I have in my faith. I was born in a Christian family, so making a decision of faith was not so difficult for me. Each time I am here to teach, it is with a trembling heart, asking the Father to help me. Although I may seem confident, my feelings are very different.”
Because Dr. Spivey has taught three of our courses, we have become familiar with each other, and very fond of him as well as knowing more about him. His strong personality and theological accomplishments led us to admire him. But at this moment when he shed tears, we also shed tears. I began to see a special bond developing between us. Not an ordinary friendship or student-teacher relationship, but put among us by God, a heavenly connection. His remarks invoked in me deep and complex feelings of the global church.
It is true that China’s religious environment is messy. Most of us are first generation Christians. We have experienced many frustrations and obstacles, being misunderstood by others to the point of being ridiculed, as well as our own internal struggles, but still we responded to the Gospel. However, for the body on the other side of the world to actually understand our difficulties, the heavenly Father certainly knows, and the author and perfector of our faith, Jesus, must also know. This is such a great comfort to us! At the same time, such a humble and authentic professor made me admire him and receive even more encouragement. For such a person who has experienced war, has great academic achievements, and strong character to tear up can only have one reason, the moving of the Holy Spirit. I thank God that each time we are together the Holy Spirit leads us in Christian communication and bonds.
Theological education must include the transfer of knowledge, but also the influence and connections of life. In my participation in the Carroll program, I have distinctly experienced that each professor who has come to teach has brought their own special qualities of life to us. These special qualities have been molded by Jesus Christ and have affected us, whether it be humility, joy, wisdom, character, or the careful and precise love and study of the word of God, or bearing the burdens of the church. For all of these, I thank our Lord.
The religious environment in China may be challenging and China’s theological education is really in its initial stages. But is there a country that does not know God that does not also have a challenging religious environment? God is able to show his strength and power through our human weakness. I firmly believe that God has a wonderful plan for revival in China. In our society, God will equip more people to reap His harvest. Furthermore, He is equipping the Chinese body of Christ to love and care for the body in other places. We are truly one body, we are one in Christ. God’s ways are always wonderful. What is even more amazing to me is that to my surprise, I am being used by God to take part in this great and beautiful work.
Testimony of Chinese student in the Christian Disciplines Course:
The first time using video to take a course, I thought I wouldn’t be accustomed to this method. But I discovered the Holy Spirit still moved in this, the quality of the course wasn’t affected. Especially because before the course, due to some personal issues, I was hiding from God. However, on the first day of the Christian Disciplines course, the scripture Dr. Moore gave me to meditate on was the parable of the prodigal son. This made my heart receive the urging of the Holy Spirit. Christian Disciplines, in fact, is just practicing facing God directly. When we come before God, we must give a response. Furthermore on the first day when questions were asked, I still had struggles and contradictions in my heart, but during the several days of the course, the Holy Spirit moved even more intensely, compelling me at the end of the course to make a decision; it cannot be delayed any longer. The professor asked everyone to respond and even after many students responded, he still asked for more of us to speak! At that time, the Holy Spirit said to me, you must share with the other students what I have revealed to you, and at the same time moved the professor to continue asking. Then finally, at the end of the course, I made a choice. Thanks be to God!
Testimony of Vietnamese Student in the Christian Disciplines Course:
Thanks to God the Father for giving me this good opportunity to learn! In particular, the course on Christian Disciplines, because it is the most important subject in a preacher’s life! For us who are continuously serving the church, the spiritual disciplines course is almost the only way to preach effectively!
Through this course, the stirring of my courage has been renewed. I have always been a person who starts well and finishes poorly –an ambitious beginning, but ending in defeat without fighting. Spiritual fruit is not achieved in one day; it is a discipline, a continuous process, and every day is not sunny. Sometimes the days bring thunder and lightning and violent storms, but when we fix our eyes on Him, regardless of circumstances, we persist and through the Holy Spirit’s direction, sail forward, not fighting the current, but rather slowly making progress!
This Christian Disciplines course revived my spiritual life. I rekindled daily quiet moments, no matter how busy; each day I am finding at least 20 minutes to be silent! The holiness tradition helps me to understand that though imperfect, I may continue relying on Jesus Christ to make me new each day, to become pure in heart, and to grow in the character of grace! The charismatic tradition helps me not to be too narrow-minded. As soon as the charismatic gifts were mentioned I tended to frown, but now I understand all spiritual gifts are charismatic; the social justice tradition lets me see the importance of obedience and service; the gospel tradition helps me understand what it means to be faithful to God’s Word; the incarnational tradition reminds me to not isolate myself!
In short, the influence of this study is not just the things mentioned above, but I believe that in my vocation of service, I will continue to be influenced, admonished, and caused to stay on the path God wants for me. May God empower me to continually practice the disciplines in order to become closer to Him, and glorify His name!